Beijing’s health authorities have distributed 400,000 free condoms in over 400 hotels in the Olympic city in a bid to raise awareness of safe sex and AIDS prevention, state media reported.
The condoms were placed in rooms in hotels rated three stars and above, Jin Dapeng, director of Beijing’s municipal health bureau, told the official Xinhua news agency.
According to Mr Jin, thousands of Olympic volunteers have been trained in AIDS prevention for the Olympic Games, the news agency reported.
“Now 180 college students and 500 community volunteers are ready to publicise AIDS-related knowledge,” Mr Jin was quoted as saying.
“We have opened 40 clinics in Beijing’s 18 districts and counties to offer free HIV tests and AIDS counselling.”
Health authorities also distributed 250,000 free pamphlets on AIDS prevention and control, Xinhua said.
The latest study by China’s health ministry, the WHO and the United Nations found that 700,000 people were HIV positive in China at the end of 2007, although campaigners have warned the figure could be up to 10 times higher.
Thousands were infected during the 1990s through tainted blood transfusions at illegal blood collection stations, but the focus of attention is now shifting to high risk groups such as gay men and sex workers.